Coroners vs. Police

I’m heading to the North American Conference on British Studies this weekend in Portland (or perhaps I’m heading to weird and wonderful Portlandia* where there just happens to also be a conference…). I’m giving a paper on mid-nineteenth-century coroners on Saturday (program here), but thought I’d share an interesting tidbit here on the blog. I…

Detection in England from Bow Street to the Met

Originally posted on English Legal History:
Detectives have had a special niche in popular culture for many years. Beginning in the nineteenth century with the works of Charles Dickens and Wilkie Collins and followed later in the century by Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes, detectives captured the nineteenth-century imagination. Today, crime novels, although still popular, have…

The Birth of Detectives in the Met

As my previous post on European police suggested, many Britons equated centralized policing with government tyranny and espionage. To avoid such criticisms, when the Metropolitan Police was established in 1829 there was no detective branch.[1] The police commissioners and the Home Office felt that it would be better to make the prevention of crime the…